Internet Governance and Developing Countries|
posted by michael on Tuesday November 08 2005, @11:49AM
GeorgeSC writes "As countries head towards Tunis the issue of the actual agreement on the text of Chapter 3 of the Tunis Declaration on Internet Governance remains in limbo, or is it?
Suffice to state that there are very constructive views and inputs around which needs to be taken into consideration by developing countries. To this end, over the past year the South Centre has been circulating a series of submissions to WSIS, emphasising the role of these countries within a “retooled, reorganised” ICANN.
I am taking the opportunity here to present the latest input from the South Centre, which appears below and provides practical and action oriented decisions for the upcoming Summit in November."
02 November 2005
This document is prepared for use by G77 Representatives at the resumed negotiations on Chapter III, of the Tunis Declaration “Internet Governance”, in Tunis 13 – 15 November 2005. As this is one of five (5) chapters in the Declaration, including the Political Chapeau, its Text should be coherent and consistent with the section, “The Way Forward”. Of particular importance are the roles of United Nations Bodies (ECOSOC, etc), other specialized UN Agencies, or any new “Policy Space” proposed.
The Synthesis Document is structured under five headings, taking into account the various submissions to PrepCom-3, Subcommittee A on Internet Governance, especially the Chair's paper (after fourth reading): Chapter three [WSIS-II/PC-3/DT/10(Rev.4)]; the nine (9) Internet Governance proposals [WSIS-II/PC-3/DT/17] to [WSIS-II/PC-3/DT/25]; especially those by developing countries (Brazil, Iran, Ghana on behalf of the African Group, Argentina and Saudi Arabia on behalf of the Arab Group); the Chair's "Food for Thought" (Section Five) [WSIS-II/PC-3/DT/15]; the conclusions and findings of APDIP Country Reports on Internet Governance ; and the 2006 – 2009 Strategic Plan being prepared by ICANN, including its Post-memorandum of Understanding (MOU) status .
State of Play regarding the Internet and Internet Governance
62. We underline the global importance and reach of the network of networks referred to as the Internet. To this end we identify the role the Internet plays in promoting human rights, democracy, E-governance, human capital creation and E-education through the efficient and decentralized flow of information and as a communication tool.
63. The Summit recognizes the present role of the United States as having sole oversight of the key Global Internet resources, especially the DNS with its Root Zone Files as a transitional stage towards the internationalization of Internet Governance.
64. We acknowledge the unique role of ICANN and the ICANN- led Internet Community with responsibility for policy, coordination and management of key Internet resources as per the terms of the existing Memorandum of Understanding between the US Department of Commerce and the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), which is up for review from September 30, 2006 , under the terms of the MOU Benchmarks.
65. In evaluating the existing regime of Internet Governance we take note of the Private Sector/ and not-for-profit led process in ICANN as well as the inadequate and limited role of governments, other than the US, in an advisory role on ICANN’s Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC).
66. The Summit, in reviewing the asymmetric role of governments in the existing mechanisms of, and their limited participation in key policy formulation of Internet Governance issues, undertakes to promote a special and enhanced role for Governments especially from the developing countries. We agree that the next steps are part of the accelerated process of the loosening of the US exclusive role leading to the shared responsibility for the oversight of critical Internet resources, especially as regards content and overall administration of the Root Server System.
IMPLEMENTION OF THE GENEVA PRINCIPLES
67. In reviewing the existing mechanisms and institutions of Internet Governance we reaffirm the need to promote the WSIS Declaration on Information Society, emphasizing the role of ICT for Development, attention to the Digital Divide, and Internet Governance. Consequently we:
• Underscore the Geneva Principles of transparent, democratic, multilateral, multi-stakeholder, responsible and accountable governance in public policy making as essential in ushering in a more symmetric measure of internationalization of the system and as the fundamental framework to guide the process, started in Geneva and promoted at Tunis.
• Undertake an immediate implementation of the Geneva Principles, cognizant of the rapidly changing opportunities and challenges of both the Internet and the Internet governance processes.
• Undertake to implement the Principles in the context of ICANN’s Strategic Plan 2006 – 2009 in the transition from the present US – centric framework to a genuine multilateral, democratic, multi-stakeholder framework, respecting the value of existing regional and inter-regional approaches.
A NEW COOPERATION MODEL
68. Recognizing the need for immediate measures at carrying out both the coordination and management of critical Internet resources and the development of key policy issues relevant to the Internet for developing countries, we agree to begin work on the establishment of a reformed and revitalized public-private/not-for-profit cooperation model. This model shall be based on a multi-stakeholder process, identifying, providing and ensuring effective and meaningful participation in global policy development and Internet Governance, in which all aspects especially multilingualization of the Internet will be part:
a) The equitable and efficient allocation of IP number blocks as well as the management of IP addresses
b) Interface with intergovernmental bodies and other institutions on matters under their purview which are relevant to Internet governance, inter alia, intellectual property and public domain information, e-commerce, trade in services, and Internet/telecommunications convergence;
c) Setting of international Internet public policy and providing the necessary oversight relating to Internet resource management, especially the related to ICANN/IANA competence in the areas such as additions or deletions to the root zone file, and the addition of new Top-level Domain Names
d) Fostering and providing guidance on certain developmental issues in the broader Internet agenda, including but not limited to skills acquisition, institutional capacity-building, equitable and cost-based international interconnection costs, and equitable access for all.
e) Approving rules and procedures for dispute resolution mechanisms and conduct arbitration, as required.
69. Taking into account the necessary and sufficient measures to implement the Geneva Principles, we decide to establish the “World International Forum for Internet Governance (WIFIG)” with well-defined oversight functions. It will function alongside other Internet bodies with clearly delineated roles, and on the functional principle of subsidiarity, respecting their competences and jurisdiction. The Forum shall have decision-making, regulation, coordination responsibilities in respect of issues with global implications working with and through appropriate institutions, including:
a) Management of technical operations of the Internet through a reformed and revitalized ICANN.
b) Coordination of policy issues specific to the key Internet Resources and other public policy issues, inter alia, infrastructure, and user issues (cyber attacks, spam, viruses, Navigation and Search Aids, Privacy, etc.), Access, Affordability and Interconnection charges, Bandwidth and Broadband Access, Open Source and Free Software, VoIP, Public Domain Information, the Technical Standards of Intellectual Property (Science, Technology and Innovation), Quality of Service (QoS) and E-Governance .
c) Preparation of a Strategic Plan to include a Work Programme with Budget and Financing plans to fulfill the mandate of closing the ‘Digital Divide’ and ushering a humane Information Society and ethical Knowledge Economy.
FORUM – FOR DIALOGUE (NEW SPACE FOR DIALOGUE)
70. We will establish The WIFIG within the framework of the United Nations System of agencies, making full use of existing forums and institutions. To accomplish this, a mandate is given for a costs and benefits analysis of the existing ITU telecom forums, the multi-stakeholder Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) of the UN Environmental Programme (UNEP) and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) as possible options or templates.
71. As integral aspects of the features and functions set out in paragraphs 68 and 69 above, the WIFIG will play a supporting role in assessing and supporting the national and regional development programmes of skills training, institutional capacity building of all stakeholders in developing countries.
72. The WIFIG, by its terms of reference, its composition, functions, institutional relationships, procedures and financing, shall reflect and fulfill the WSIS Geneva Principles, including its multi-stakeholder emphasis as well as the interests of the end users, for whom the Internet works robustly, reliably, securely and equitably.
PUBLIC POLICY ISSUES
73. We reaffirm that the central purpose of WSIS is ‘ICT for Development’, with Internet Governance as a key component and promoter of ICT for individual choice in social, cultural, economic and political matters. To this end, we commit to remain engaged in promoting the values and principles of the Information Society and comity among nations and peoples.
SUMMARY – NEXT STEPS AND THE WAY FORWARD
74. We reaffirm our commitment to implement the decisions taken at the Tunis Summit in implementing the WSIS Geneva Principles on Internet Governance in line with the all other decisions in the Declaration."
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